Perceptions of adolescent parenting among high school adolescent students from selected rural and urban schools in Rwanda
Background: Adolescent pregnancy is a global public health concern. In Rwanda, adolescent pregnancy has increased from 4.1% in 2005 to 7.3% in 2015 and continues to rise.
Objective: To determine adolescents’ perceptions of how their lives would change if they experienced an adolescent birth.
Method: A cross-sectional quantitative study. A proportionate stratified random sampling technique was used to select 245 adolescents 15-19 years of age who attended two secondary schools in Rwanda. Data analysis used descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: The majority of participants had positive perceptions of adolescent parenting. The bivariate analysis showed significant relationships between adolescents’ perceptions and three sociodemographic variables (female, pregnancy status, and monthly attendance at the religious group) and one sexual behaviour variable (history of sexual intercourse). The multivariate analysis revealed one significant relationship, females’ negative perceptions of adolescent parenting (p<0.001).
Conclusion: There is a need to strengthen sexual health education programs in secondary schools to raise adolescents’ awareness of sexual and reproductive health. Health facilities should provide easy access and affordable contraceptive methods to adolescents, which will help the individual, families, communities and Rwanda.
Keywords: Adolescent pregnancy, perceptions, adolescent parenting